The horizon (layer of soil) beneath the top layer. The composition of the B horizon is changed by the action of percolating water.
See: British Thermal Unit.
Points paid to a mortgage broker by a lender which exceed the points paid by the borrower.
BACK TITLE LETTER
In states where attorneys examine title for title insurance purposes, this letter is given by a title insurance company to an attorney, giving to said attorney the condition of title as of a certain date. The attorney then begins his examination as of that date. Also called a starter or back title certificate. See also: Starter.
To replace ground removed by excavation for construction. Used to brace a structure (especially a foundation or footings).
A secondary offer to buy property, used in case the first (primary) offer fails. A backup offer is especially useful when the primary offer contains difficult contingencies.
Water in a stream or river which, because of a dam or other obstruction, is stopped in its course or flows back toward its source.
A valve set in a lateral sewer line which automatically prevents sewage from flowing back to its source (a building).
An appraisal term meaning that value of real property is best sustained when opposite influences (e.g. supply and demand) are equal.
BALANCE DUE DATE
See: Installment Note, Balance Due Date.
A statement of the assets and liabilities of a company to determine its net worth (equity).
A tax free exchange of properties under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue code. To be tax free the taxpayer must invest all of the profit from the relinquished property into the replacement property. See also: Boot.
(1) A balustrade, railed, elevated platform projecting from the face of a building. (2) An upper floor seating area in a theater.
(1) The final payment of a balloon note (see which). (2) A landlocked parcel of land.
BALLOON FRAME CONSTRUCTION
A term describing the framing used in a two story wood construction where the studs extend from the sill (ground level) to the ceiling of the second floor. See: Platform Frame Construction; Post and Beam Frame Construction.
A mortgage that has a final payment larger than the other payments. For example, a thirty year loan due in five years would have a payment that would amortize it (pay it off) over thirty years. However, the loan would be due in five years, making the final payment (the balloon payment) greater than the previous payments.
A note calling for periodic payments which are insufficient to fully amortize the face amount of the note prior to maturity, so that a principal sum known as a "balloon" is due at maturity.
The final payment (balance due) of a balloon note.
An appraisal method for setting a value on a corner lot. The lot is appraised as an inside lot for its front footage on both streets. The two values are then added to find the value of the corner lot. For example: Lot 1 fronts 100' on street A and 100' on street B. The value of a 100' inside lot on street A is added to the value of a 100' inside lot on street B to find the value of lot 1. Also called the Bernard Rule.
The supporting posts of a handrail in a staircase.
A row of balusters supporting a handrail.
(1) The elevated land on each side of a river or stream which keeps the water in its natural channel. (2) See: Commercial Bank.
One who is adjudicated a bankrupt by a court having proper jurisdiction. The bankruptcy may be voluntary (petitioned by the bankrupt) or involuntary (petitioned by the creditors of the bankrupt).
Proceedings under federal bankruptcy statutes to relieve a debtor (bankrupt) from insurmountable debt. The bankrupt's property is distributed by the court to the creditors as full satisfaction of the debts. In accordance with certain priorities and exemptions. Voluntary bankruptcy is petitioned by the debtor; involuntary by the creditors.
BARGAIN AND SALE DEED
A contract or deed which conveys a "use" in the buyer under the Statute of Uses. Although the deed may also convey legal title, there are no warranties by the seller that title is good unless specified. See also: Grant Deed; Quit Claim Deed; Warranty Deed.
Either of the two rafters supporting the part of a gable roof which extends beyond the supporting wall.
Tiling on a gable roof projecting beyond the supporting wall.
A board (often carved or ornamented) which hangs from the projecting edge of a sloping roof. Also called a vergeboard.
A farm building used to store hay, grain, farm equipment, and to house livestock.
A unit of solid or liquid measure, varying with each trade. For example: A barrel of water if 31 1/2 gallons, oil 42 gallons.
The lowest part of a construction member. That which bears the load. See also: Base Title.
BASE AND MERIDIAN
See: Base Line; Meridian.
(1) A survey line used in the government survey to establish township lines. The base line runs East and West through a principal meridian (line running North and South). (2) A horizontal elevation line used as the centerline in a survey for a highway route.
A map having background information, such as state, county, or city boundaries, upon which more detailed data is plotted.
Molding installed along the top of the baseboard.
Private property owned by a cattle owner, required before a permit will be issued to allow the cattle to graze on public land.
A specific amount used as a minimum rent in a lease which uses a percentage or overage for additional rent.
BASE SHOE MOLDING
Molding installed along the bottom of a baseboard (junction with floor). Also called carpet molding or carpet strip.
The result of an examination of title for the internal use of a title insurance company. Usually covers a large area and is done in anticipation of future sales or subdividing of the area.
The year upon which a direct expense escalation of rent is based. See also: Escalation Clause (3).
Generally, any board or molding covering an interior wall where it meets the floor.
A system of perimeter heating in which the baseboard is replaced by the heating units. May also be panels rather than baseboard units.
Generally, the story of a building below ground level.
In connection with highway use, the greatest number of cars per hour which can pass a given point under ideal driving conditions will give the basic capacity of a lane or road.
Crops usually subject to government price supports and considered the basis of our agricultural economy, such as wheat, corn, oats, rice, and similar crops.
The purchase price of a property, including all expenses related to the purchase.
BASIS FOR DEPRECIATION
The value of property for purposes of depreciation. For example: A purchased asset The basis is cost, whether fully paid for or not. The method for determining the basis is different for gift, inheritance, etc.
A finance term meaning a yield of 1/100th of 1%.
A room containing a toilet, sink, and bathtub or bathtub-shower combination. In appraisal for federally insured mortgages, a toilet and sink (no bathtub or shower) equal a half bathroom; a toilet, sink and stall shower equal a three quarter bathroom.
A strip of insulation fitting closely between the studs of a wall.
A narrow strip (usually of wood), used to cover seams between siding boards.
The slope of a structure, such as a wall or bank; expressed in terms of the vertical rise per horizontal distance, such as 3 inches (vertical) per 10 feet (horizontal).
The land between a river bank and the water's edge when the water level is lower than normal.
(1919-1933) A school of design (most noted for its architecture) founded by Walter Gropius in Germany.
(1) The opening between two columns, walls, etc., which forms a room-like space. May be industrial space, parking space, barn space, or other use. (2) A bending or curving of the shoreline so as to form a partially enclosed body of water.
A window which projects in a curve out from a wall, giving a bay- like effect to the interior.
That portion of the shore between ordinary low and high water marks. Commonly used to describe any sandy area adjacent to a body of water.
A vertical or horizontal member of a structure; may be of wood, steel, concrete, or other strong material, and, unless decorative only, is a load-bearing part of the structure.
A ceiling having one or more of its beams exposed. See: Beam.
One holding commercial paper.
Checks, notes, drafts, bonds, etc., payable to whomever has possession of the instruments: i.e. the bearer.
(1) Relative position or direction of one object to another or to a compass point. (2) Supporting a load, such as a bearing wall.
In construction, the ability of soil to bear the weight of the structure to be built.
A wall which supports the weight of a part of a structure in addition to its own weight.
BED A TREE
Preparing a path (bed) on which a tree is to fall so that it will not be damaged.
Solid rock beneath the soil, as distinguished from rocks or boulders.
An area primarily residential. The people living there commute to work.
BEFORE AND AFTER METHOD
An appraisal method used in both condemnation and modernization. In condemnation the method is used in a partial taking. The value of the total land owned by A, for example, is $1.00 per sq. ft. After a partial taking, the remaining land of A is worth $.75 per sq. ft. A should receive $1.00 per sq. ft. for the property taken plus $.25 per sq. ft. for the remaining parcel. In the event the remaining property is worth $1.25 after the taking (increased value), the payment to A could be less than the value of the property taken. In modernization, an appraiser may take the value of property before and after remodeling to determine if the value increased more than modernization costs.
A limited access highway carrying traffic around an urban area, with entrances and exits to principal streets. Also called a by- pass.
Surveying mark made in some object which is permanently fixed in the ground, showing the height of that point in relation to sea level. Used in topographic surveys and tidal observations.
An estate, the right to possession of which has been postponed, such as a devise under a will. More commonly, an estate, the legal ownership of which has not yet vested, as under a land contract. An equitable estate.
The equitable, rather than legal ownership of property, such as under a land contract.
The doctrine, applicable in some areas, pertains to water rights, giving priority to those who would use the water most beneficially.
(1) One for whose benefit a trust is created. (2) In states in which deeds of trust are commonly used instead of mortgages, the lender (mortgagee) is called the beneficiary.
Written instructions by a beneficiary under a deed of trust stating and demanding the amount necessary for issuance of a reconveyance, whether a full or partial amount.
A statement by a lender under a deed of trust, setting forth the pertinent information necessary to assume said deed of trust, such as the unpaid balance, monthly payment, and interest rate.
BENEFIT OF THE BARGAIN
A rule of damages under which a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the actual and misrepresented value of the property purchased, even though greater than the actual loss suffered.
A term used in eminent domain, referring to the increase in value to land not taken, which is produced by the taking. See also: General Benefits; Special Benefits.
Non-profit groups having a philanthropic or charitable purpose.
A transverse frame of a building or bridge, designed to support horizontal or vertical loads.
To give personal property by will.
Traditionally, a gift of personal property in a will. Modernly, a gift of personal or real property. See also: Devise.
(1) A bench, ledge, or other resting place part way up a hill or slope. (2) A mound used to control drainage by diverting all or part of the flow.
See: Baltimore Rule.
An improvement to a structure which is not a repair, restoration, or enlargement. For example: the addition of aluminum siding over a frame wall; paving a street adjoining the structure; adding a fireplace or some similar improvement which increases the value of the property.
A prefix meaning both "every two" or "twice in". Biannual, for example, is twice in one year. Biennial is once every two years.
Two levels. Commonly refers to construction of a house. Also called "split" level.
Twice per year. Semiannual.
(1) An offer, usually in competition with others, such as at auction. A builder may bid for the right to do construction (especially for a government contract). (2) Used in some states to describe an offer to purchase real estate.
Every two years.
BILATERAL (RECIPROCAL) CONTRACT
A contract formed by an exchange of promises. Performance of the contract takes place at a later time. The standard real estate sale's agreement or lease is a bilateral contract. See also: Unilateral Contract.
A promissory note from which the interest is deducted in advance.
BILL OF SALE
An instrument by which one transfers personal property.
A Structure annexed to land for the purpose of posting advertising.
(1) A report issued by a title insurance company setting forth the condition of title to certain property as of a certain date, and also setting forth conditions which, if satisfied, will cause a policy of title insurance to be issued. Also called a commitment. See also: Preliminary Title Report. (2) A policy of title insurance (used primarily by investors) calling for a reduced rate for a future policy if the property is sold within a specified period.
Obtaining the initial lead regarding property, buyers, investors, potential home improvement customers, etc. The lead is then followed up by one empowered to make the deal.
The number of births in a given area during a given period of time, based on per thousand population.
BIWEEKLY ACCELERATED MORTGAGE
A mortgage repaid by biweekly payments. A biweekly payment is equal to one-half the regular monthly payment. This reduced payment is then paid biweekly or 26 times per year. Under this accelerated plan, the borrower pays off more principal than a borrower making monthly payments. Example: A $100,000.00, 30 year loan at 12% interest would have a monthly payment of $1,028.62. Making biweekly payments of $514.31 pays off the 30 year loan in 19 years and 2 weeks and saves $115,975.18 in interest.
Fictitious name used by legal writers to describe a specific property without a more complete description.
A black paving surface composed of a coal or asphalt material.
BLANKET DEED OF TRUST
See: Blanket Mortgage.
BLANKET INSURANCE POLICY
A policy covering more than one property. Commonly used by builders of a tract.
(1) A mortgage covering more than one property of the mortgagor, such as a mortgage covering all the lots of a builder in a subdivision. (2) A mortgage covering all real property of the mortgagor, both present and future. When used in this meaning, it is also called a "general mortgage".
An interest rate used in refinancing that is higher than the original loan but less than the current market rate.
To wither and decay. Applied both to diseased plants and to neighborhoods where normal real estate maintenance has stopped.
A term popular in urban renewal, referring to a run-down area.
An ad (usually in a newspaper or magazine) which does not identify the party placing the ad. Often used in an ad for a job, asking that a resume be sent to a post office box.
A corner where building or vegetation (trees, shrubs, etc.) extends to the property line and so obstructs the vision of motorists to right angle traffic.
Nailing so that the nails are sunk into the wall and covered with putty so the nail heads do not show.
(1) In a city, a square or rectangular area enclosed by streets. (2) In some states, a part of a subdivision legal description, such as Lot 1, Block 1, Tract 1. (3) A pulley in a frame. (4) An auctioneer's platform.
An illegal method of obtaining houses at below fair market value by telling the inhabitants that people of a different race or religion, moving into the area, will cause property values to fall.
Actually, laws adopted in some New England colonies regarding religious and personal conduct. Later came to mean any laws regarding the conducting of business on Sunday. Do not confuse with Blue Sky Laws.
BLUE SKY LAWS
Laws to regulate the sale of securities to avoid investment in fraudulent companies or high risk investments without disclosure of the risks to the investor.
A plan of a building in such detail as to enable workmen to construct it from the print. The name comes from the photographic process which produces the plan in white on a blue background.
(1) A term which, in the lumber trade, refers to a piece of lumber less than 2 inches thick, and 8 or more inches wide. (2) A group of persons authorized by law to exercise management and control, either of a public function, such as a board of supervisors, board of health, etc., or a private corporation, as a board of directors.
BOARD AND BATTEN
A siding constructed of wide boards (usually one foot wide) placed 1/2 inch apart; the seams are covered by 3 inch wide battens.
BOARD OF ALDERMEN
The governing body of a municipal corporation. Equivalent to a city council.
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
State board charged with the duty to bring equitable uniformity to the various local property tax assessments.
A unit of measurement for lumber. One boardfoot equals 144 cubic inches or 12" X 12" X 1".
A house where one can rent a room and receive board (meals), the cost of which is included in the rent. Not common today.
A name given to a hotel or motel adjacent to a marina and catering to boat travelers.
The form language (generally printed) which is contained in deeds, deeds of trust, CC&R's, and other documents and contracts. The specifics for each instance are then filled in.
Using form language for a contract, CC&R's (restrictions), etc.
A tree trunk.
See: Building Owners And Managers Association.
A legal term which refers to any actions, situations, or persons that are honest, in good faith, and without fraud.
BONA FIDE PURCHASER
A purchaser in good faith, for valuable consideration, without notice or knowledge of adverse claims of others. Sometimes abbreviated to B.F.P.
(1) An insurance agreement by which one is insured against loss by acts or defaults of a third party. In construction, a performance bond insures that the builder will finish his project. The insured could be a lender, purchaser, or other interested party. (2) A method of financing long term debt, issued by a government or private corporation, which bears interest and has priority over stock in terms of security.
BOND FOR DEED
See: Land Contract.
BOND FOR TITLE
See: Land Contract.
See: "No Bonus" Clause.
The actual cost as carried in the account ledger.
Depreciation reserved (on the books) by an owner for future replacement or retirement of an asset.
The value of a property as a capital asset (cost plus additions to value, less depreciation).
(1) A barrier forming an enclosure for logs or timber. (2) A beam of a crane or derrick , used for guiding whatever it lifts.
Something given in addition to. Generally used in exchange to refer to something given other than the major properties to be exchanged, in order to equalize value.
Study of soil by boring holes and removing samples.
A part of a city, having authority over certain local matters. The best known boroughs are the five boroughs of New York City.
Material such as sand or gravel used for grading, which is brought from another location.
The place from which borrow material is taken.
The pit left after the removal of borrow material. The pit is sometimes filled as a lake and even stocked by some states for fishing.
1. The party receiving funds that must be repaid, usually with interest. 2. One who uses anything belonging to another with the agreement to return it.
Low land along a river formed by alluvial deposits. Also low lying ground such as a valley or dale.
A wide street, usually having a median or promenade, and lined with trees.
A separation, natural or artificial, which marks the division of two contiguous properties.
A brook. Also called a bourne or burn.
A structural truss with a top member which curves at each end to meet the bottom member, thus resembling a bow.
Framing reinforced with post and braces, forming a frame more rigid than balloon framing.
See: Bradley Sink.
A circular lavatory, usually found in industrial buildings, capable of use by several persons at the same time by utilization of a center column containing multiple water jets operated by foot pedals. Also called a Bradley Fountain.
BREACH OF CONTRACT
Failure to perform a contract, in whole or part, without legal excuse.
BREACH OF COVENANT
The failure to do or to refrain from doing that which was covenanted. See also: Covenant; Condition; Restriction.
BREACH OF WARRANTY
In real property, the failure of the seller to pass title as either expressed or implied (by law) in the conveyancing document. See also: Warranty Deed; Grant Deed; Quitclaim Deed.
BREAK EVEN POINT
In income property, where there is neither a positive nor a negative cash flow.
Estimating accrued depreciation by using all three reasons (physical deterioration, functional obsolescence, economic obsolescence) for loss in value.
The height at which the diameter of a tree is measured. A height of 4 1/2 feet above the ground level. The abbreviation D.B.H. (diameter-breast-height) is usually used.
A storage tank roof which rises or lowers depending on the level of the stored gas or liquid.
(1) In construction of a house with no garage, a canopy which extends from the house over the driveway as a protection from the weather for an automobile and for those people going between the house and the automobile. (2) A covering over a porch or patio, connecting two sections of a house or a house and garage. Open on two sides, allowing air circulation (breeze).
A building material made from clay, which is molded and heated. The effect of the heat on the iron in the clay gives a red color. Addition of lime or magnesia produces a yellow color.
A structure over a waterway, highway, or other obstruction, to facilitate passage and for the benefit of travelers.
A form of interim loan, generally made between a short term loan and a permanent (long term) loan, when the borrower needs to have more time before taking the long term financing.
Floor joist bracing, usually of wood or metal.
BRIDLE PATH (ROAD)
Technically a private road designated as a bridle road without specific use. More modernly, a road designated for equestrian use.
BRITISH THERMAL UNIT (B.T.U.)
Unit of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. Used to express the capacity of heating and cooling systems.
BROKER, REAL ESTATE
One who is licensed by the state to carry on the business of dealing in real estate. A broker may receive a commission for his or her part in bringing together a buyer and seller, landlord and tenant, or parties to an exchange.
The act of bringing together principals (buyer-seller; landlord- tenant; etc.) for a fee or commission, rather than acting as a principal.
A term used to describe the condition of a building, delivered to a buyer or tenant. As the term indicates, the floors are swept and free of debris.
A tree, cut into logs.
As the word is applied to condominiums and planned developments, the common expenses shared by the unit owners. This will determine the amount each unit will be charged (usually monthly) for expenses of the common area (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.).
BUFFER STRIP (BUFFER ZONE)
A parcel of land separating two other parcels or areas, such as a strip of land between an industrial and residential area.
BUILD TO SUIT
A method of leasing property whereby the lessor builds to suit the tenant (according to the tenant's specifications). The cost of construction is figured into the rental amount of the lease, which is usually for a long term.
One whose occupation is the construction of structures (buildings).
See: Performance Bond.
A structure built to shelter people, animals, or goods. May be a residence, business, or meeting place, such as a church.
BUILDING AND LOAN ASSOCIATION
An organization for the purpose of accumulating a fund by subscription and savings of its members, to assist them with loans for building or purchasing real estate.
A comprehensive set of laws which control the construction of buildings, including design, materials used, construction, use, repair, remodeling, and other similar factors.
A contract setting forth the terms under which construction is to be undertaken. Price may be set, or based on the builder's cost plus a profit.
A line beyond which there can be no construction. Set by law, the purpose of such a line is to keep buildings from being built too close to the street, both for safety and aesthetic reasons.
BUILDING OWNERS AND MANAGERS ASSOCIATION (BOMA)
An association of owners and managers of commercial (mainly office) buildings. The association shares information on management techniques as well as setting standards for things such as floor measurement of office buildings.
An insulation. A waterproof, heavy paper used in the construction of a roof or wall.
A permit given by a local government to construct a building, or make improvements.
BUILDING RESIDUAL TECHNIQUE
An appraisal technique by which building value is determined by first determining the net return attributable to the land only, and deducting it from the total return to the property (may be estimated). The residual amount is capitalized to find the building value. Best used when land value is easy to estimate and building value difficult to estimate. See: Land Residual Technique; Property Residual Technique.
Prohibition by a governmental body (zoning restriction) or a private party (a former owner) against construction of certain structures on a property.
See: Site (2).
Commonly stoves, ovens, dishwashers, and other appliances, framed into the building construction and not movable.
A level roof composed of layers of roofing materials (tars and waterproof paper), covered with fine gravel.
A transfer in bulk, not in the ordinary course of business, of all or substantially all of the inventory and fixtures of a business.
BULK SALES ACT
Laws to protect creditors against secret sale of all or substantially all of the merchant's goods. Requires certain notice before sale, and sets forth methods of voiding improper sales. See also: Uniform Commercial Code.
See: Area Zoning.
(1) A partition in a ship. (2) A retaining wall to hold back water and thereby extend the shoreline.
A line established in navigable waters beyond which no solid fill can be used. The Army Corps of Engineers establishes the bulkhead line and also the pier line, beyond which no pier can be constructed.
BUNDLE OF RIGHTS
A theory comparing property rights to a bundle of sticks. Each of the usual property rights (possession, alienation, etc.) is represented by a stick and is, therefore, considered separately.
A copper bar through which electrical current flows.
A metal clad enclosure containing a bus.
Unqualified, the word has no definite meaning, but has come to be understood to be any activity by which people earn money.
The economic cycle of prosperity, followed by a decline, and then a return to prosperity.
The sale of a business (may or may not include the sale of real estate). Some states require a real estate license for these sales even when real estate is not involved. The Uniform Commercial Code, state statutes, and special laws for alcoholic beverage licenses (when applicable) should be studied by the business opportunities broker.
The meeting end to end (butting) of two members to form a connection (joint).
The log immediately above the stump of a tree.
See: Key Lot 2.
A steep hill, usually standing alone.
A roof formed by two gable roofs concave to a center ridge. The roof resembles the shape of a butterfly's wings.
A support for a wall. A prop. If the buttress projects from the wall and supports by lateral pressure, it is called a "flying buttress".
BUTTS AND BOUNDS
See: Metes and Bounds.
An offer by one owner of a business or real estate to buy out the interest of another owner of the same business or real estate (a partner or other shareholder), or to sell the offeror's interest at the same price or proportionate price if unequal ownership. Example: A and B each own a 1/2 interest in lot 1. A offers to buy B's interest for $10,000, or to sell A's interest to B for $10,000. Theoretically, very fair, since B has the option to buy or sell. However, B's interest may be worth $12,000, but B is financially unable to buy A's interest (also worth $12,000).
A payment to the lender from the seller, buyer, third party, or some combination of these, causing the lender to reduce the interest rate during the early years of a loan. The buydown is usually for the first 1 to 5 years of the loan. See also: Certificate Backed Mortgage.
The account holding funds to be used to pay additional amounts during the buydown period. See: Buydown.
AGENCY AGREEMENT - An agreement by a real estate broker to represent a buyer of property. A broker's agreement to represent a seller is commonly called a listing agreement. See: Agency.
A market condition favoring the buyer. In real estate, when more homes are for sale than there are interested buyers.
A real estate agent representing the interests of the buyer. Rules of confidentially between buyer and agent are stricter than if the agent represented both buyer and seller.
The main conduits coming into a home. Electrical wiring run through metal conduits.
Rules and regulations, adopted by an association or corporation, which govern its activities.
A road designed to avoid or pass by a high density area, such as a business section of a city, in order to ease traffic congestion. Also called a belt highway.